16 In/16 Out Thunderbolt Audio Interface with AVB Audio Networking


The MOTU 16A is a Thunderbolt audio interface that features 48-channel mixing capabilities, AVB audio networking...
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The MOTU 16A is a Thunderbolt audio interface that features 48-channel mixing capabilities, AVB audio networking, 16 balanced/unbalanced TRS analog inputs and outputs plus 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical ports to deliver a total of 32 inputs and 32 outputs. Use the 16A for expanded analog I/O for your computer or as a flexible, capable patchbay and mixer, or both.

The 16A employs ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, known for their industry-leading performance, together with analog circuits that reflect more than three decades of audio engineering expertise. The result is the 16A achieves actual, measured performance of 123 dB dynamic range (A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz) on its balanced TRS analog outputs.

Every digital audio workflow has some latency, but the question is "How much?" In the case of the 16A, the answer is not much at all. In the 16A latency is measured in a handful of samples from the time an audio signal first goes digital to its arrival somewhere else (to an output, the mixer, or the computer). By keeping latency this low in the hardware, the 16A helps minimize latency introduced by your host software:

Analog In to Out at 48 kHz








DSP In/Out





              32 (0.66 ms)

Thunderbolt lets you connect displays, hard drives and other peripherals to your computer along with the 16A, and more importantly, Thunderbolt gives you an astonishing 256 channels of computer I/O (128 in and out). You can use them to route audio to the physical inputs and outputs on the 16A, plus the 48-channel mixer inside the 16A, plus audio network streams. The 16A is the first and only interface to combine Thunderbolt I/O connectivity with AVB audio networking. If you don't have a Thunderbolt-equipped computer yet, Hi-speed USB 2.0 provides across-the-board compatibility with pretty much all laptops and desktops. The 16A is USB audio class compliant which means you enjoy OS-level USB compatibility and support including iPad support (with the optional Apple Camera Connection Kit). Since USB 2.0 devices are compatible with USB 3.0-equipped hosts, your 16A interface is a future-proof investment in your studio.

The software that you use to control the 16A doesn't reside on your hard drive, it's a web app served from the hardware itself. This means you can control the 16A's on-board DSP, mixing, device settings and network audio routing from the web app software running in your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or WiFi to your local area network. Use any web client on any platform - Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Andriod - as long as it shares the same network.

With one click on the 16A's routing grid, you can route any source signal to any destination. Sources can be analog or digital inputs on the interface, computer channels, mixer bus outputs or audio network streams from other devices on the network. Destinations include interface outputs, host software inputs, mixer inputs or any other device (or computer) on the AVB network. You can even split any single input (or stereo pair) to unlimited multiple output destinations.

The 16A is equipped with a 48-channel digital mixer designed just like a large format mixing console. The 48 inputs can take signal from anywhere; the physical inputs on the 16A itself, audio channels from host software on your computer, audio network streams or even mixer outputs. The mixer provides 7 stereo aux busses, a reverb bus that can alternately sever as a 4th group, a Main Mix bus and a separate Monitor bus that can serve as a solo bus. In essence, the 16A is a flexible, capable and transparent mixer.

British analog mixing consoles are renowned for their musical EQ profiles, and the 16A meticulously models these classic EQs to give you the very same magical EQ response found on those coveted desks. Each input channel also provides a classic compressor module with optional peak/RMS operation. Groups and the Main Mix bus are equipped with MOTU's Leveler, an accurate model of the legendary Teletronix LA-2A optical leveling amplifier, known for its unique and highly sought-after Automatic Gain Control (AGC) charateristics.

The 16A network port introduces AVB Ethernet, the industry standard developed by the IEEE for professional audio networking. Add a second MOTU AVB interface (1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple CAT5e or CAT6 Ethernet cable. You can also expand your system with more I/O and WiFi control by connecting up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold seperately). Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB switches and network cabling with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (hundreds of meters). Stream hunderds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network. Connect an Apple Airport or other WiFi router directly to the 16A with a standard Ethernet cable and control the 16A's powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smart phone or table without a computer - great for live sound mixing!

The 16A is so flexible, it can serve many roles - in the studio, on stage, and throughout an installation. The Quick Setup menu lets you instantly reconfigure the 16A for many common situations, from operation as a standard audio interface to serving as a network "snake" from one location to another. Once a preset is chosen, you can easily customize the routing grid and mixer settings to further suit your specific needs, and then save your own custom presets.

MOTU 16A Specifications:

  • Sample Rates:  44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
  • Analog Inputs:  
    • 16 x 1/4" TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)
    • Dynamic Range:  117 dBA
    • THD+N (unweighted):  -110 dB
    • Max Level:  +24 dBu
    • Trim Range (in 1dB steps):  22 dB (+2 to +24 dBu)
  • Analog Outputs:  
    • 16 x 1/4" TRS line outputs (balanced)
    • Dynamic Range:  123 dBA
    • THD+N (unweighted):  -110 dB
    • Max Level:  +24 dBu
    • Trim Range (in 1dB steps):  24 dB (-4 to +20 dBu)
  • Digital I/O:
    • 2 banks (16 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
    • 1 bank (8 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
    • Stereo RCA S/PDIF up to 96 kHz (with SRC on input)
  • Total I/O:
    • 32 inputs and 32 outputs (64 total) at 1x sample rates
    • 24 inputs and 24 outputs (48 total) at 2x sample rates
    • 16 inputs and 16 outputs (32 total) at 4x sample rates
  • Computer I/O:   
    • 1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2)
    • 1 x USB 2.0 audio class compliant (3.0 compatible)
  • Sync I/O:   
    • 1 x word clock in
    • 1 x word clock out
  • Front Panel:   
    • 4 x switches - menu navigation
    • 324 x 24 pixel LCD for level meters / menu nav
    • 1 x AC power switch
  • Power:  International 100-240V auto switchingsupply, 50-60 Hz, 0.5A max
  • Included Software:
    • Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 drivers
    • MOTU AVB Discovery App for Mac (finds connected MOTU interfaces)
    • MOTU AVB Discovery App for iOS (available from Apple App Store)
    • MOTU AVB Control web app (served from the hardware itself)
    • AudioDesk 4.0 (available as a separate download)
  • System Requirements:
    • Mac:
      • OSX 10.8 or later
      • 1 GHz Intel-based Mac or faster
      • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
      • Mac OS X version 10.8 or later
      • Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 port
      • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
    • Windows:
      • Windows 8 or later
      • 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
      • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
      • Windows 8 or later
      • Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 port
      • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
      • NOTE:  Windows support is coming soon
    • Web App Support:
      • Any web client platform: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
      • Any web browser: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Explorer, etc.
      • Web client must be connected to the same network as the MOTU AVB interface by wire or Wi-Fi

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